All life forms need energy to live. The sun is the most important source of energy in our solar system. It produces energy so great that it holds a temperature of over 9,500 degrees Fahrenheit. This enormous amount of energy maintains an ecological balance that sustains all life on Earth. Without the sun, plant and animal life would cease to exist. There would be absolutely no source of life. Zero.
More so than the sun, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is our energy and source of life as believers. Just as the sun produces energy and sustains the ecological structures of life, Jesus’ resurrection sustains us as people of hope and trust in Him. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Without the resurrection, there is absolutely no source of true life. The Christian faith hinges on the resurrection: that Jesus Christ truly died, and that He truly rose again.
It’s important to actively remember the resurrection, because we as disciples have been called to do some pretty insane things. Jesus gives His disciples some impossible commandments – to fear not and to worry not. However, in light of the resurrection, we as believers have the capacity to live by these commandments.
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
“Do not fear.” Fear is present and objective. We experience fear when something bad is happening to us in the present. Really Jesus? I’m not allowed to fear when someone is physically torturing me, emotionally bullying me, relationally abusing me? This is a pretty absurd commandment to live by. But, if we bring the resurrection back into view, fears begin to fade. Think about it: if we believe that Jesus really died, and really resurrected, what do we have to fear? Death? Death was not able to hold Christ hostage, and as co-heirs with Christ, death no longer holds you and me hostage.
If you are like me, you know the Gospel backwards and forwards, but I still find it so hard to share the Good News with my non-believing friends. I’m crippled by the anxious fear of what they think of me. I have been called stupid and ignorant.
For a couple of years, I managed a sports and recreation facility, and many of my co-workers were not Christians. I had the opportunity to share the gospel with many of them. Do you want to know how I pushed beyond my fears of what they thought of me? Because Jesus rose again. Who cares if my friends think I’m crazy? Who cares if they make fun of me? Who cares if they lose respect for me? The resurrection gives me compassion beyond fear to share the Gospel, because I want people to know the truth: that Jesus really died and really rose. The resurrection gives me courage not to be fearful.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Excerpts from Matthew 6:25 & 34.
In addition to “fear not”, we are also told to “worry not.” This “worry” is more anxiety than fear. Fear is present and objective, but anxiety is being fearful of things that could or might happen. Worry is future and subjective. Worry is always asking “What if?” This command hits home with me.
Just a few weeks ago I googled, “What to do if a nuclear bomb goes off”. Yes. I read multiple articles. Yes. I sent them all to my wife. Yes. I live in East Texas, where the closest major city is two hours away, and the likelihood of a bomb going off anywhere near me is pretty slim. But yes. I will be building a basement bomb shelter over the next few years, and you are more than welcome to join me.
But I’m called to not worry. Does Jesus worry about retirement? Does Jesus worry about putting food on the table? Does Jesus worry about taking care of a family? Does Jesus worry about His health? No. No He does not.
And that is the point! Our Jesus really died and really rose again. Our Jesus has your best retirement already planned and paid for; to spend eternity with Him. Our Jesus has, does, and will provide you your daily bread. Our Jesus bought His children with His blood, and sealed the deal forever with His resurrection. Our Jesus has zero health problems. Our Jesus lives!
Here at camp we teach kids to face their fears through their activities. It takes courage to learn how to waterski, climb the rock wall in Adventure Challenge, and jump off the blob deck. We also teach them about Jesus, and how His love for them was ultimately displayed in His death for them, and that through the power of His resurrection we are more than conquerors.
In light of the resurrection, I pray that you are encouraged, like I am, to face my fears today, to face my worries today; Jesus lives today, and He lives tomorrow.
What are some fears and anxieties you face? How does the resurrection give you peace?